Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-two
Summer 2013
[One Eye Opened]
Rich Ives
                                                                  [One Eye Opened]
there is little I know for sure
amazing endurance and sensitivity
can be swallowed and travel inside
but cannot know
a marble is indeed a creature
can remain objective reliably
can be betrayed with a slingshot
can trip up the heartless burglar
                                                                  the one who hid it
is incapable of harboring resentment
can provoke nostalgia in its enemies
for those who would not exercise
some desire to defeat change
and memory’s childhood and
misconstrue this as pleasure
through miserliness or arrogance
wary of unexpected arrivals
                                                                  in a field in South Dakota
the great drought of 1959
had gathered so much heat
to meet my eye as I walked
dreaming the frogs and fish
a marble in the dying wheat
it could fall no farther and rose
a dried-up pond to the far end
and turtles and younger boys
                                                                  had managed to burrow deep
in the cracked lake bottom
hiding away everything
I wrapped that marble in
the crisp dried fallen tunic
to stay in my thoughts
offering the way life does
a tissue to keep it’s light from biting
a fallen stalk of clattering corn
                                                                  and I eyed the shriveling earth
but soon the pond was full and the earth
so much was floating that once
I sank down before death asked
not moving anything
it was so full it was leaking and
I decided it felt good to eat
into an ocean of sloth
beyond even my desirous thoughts
                                                                  waiting for the world to digest
forgetting what I was for
a dream as it found me
thinking about my relatives
watching the heat lightning
I floated away satiated on
oceans of dying wheat
gathered outside in the dark
we had to guard closely
                                                                  shovels nosed into the all-too-available dirt
and I broke open a fist of potato
the dead river inside the white skin
and put its promise away
another round earthly vision bruising
and lifted out the satisfying skeleton
that had grown beneath its appearance
in my stomach’s pocket now
a hardening romantic view
                                                                  in one of hunger’s wrong directions

About Rich Ives

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